Kwansaba is an African American verse form of praise. The Kwansaba, (swahili kwan – first fruit / saba -principle) was created in 1995 by Eugene B Redmond, East St. Louis Poet Laureate and professor of English at Southern Illinois University-East St. Louis. The form was developed in honor of the celebration of Kwanzaa . The poetic form adopts the number 7 from Kwanzaa’s Nguzo Saba (7 principles) as well as embraces its roots in the South African tradition of thePraise Poem.
Kwanzaa is a 7 day celebration of the African-American family encompassing African-American heritage, culture and principles. The celebration was introduced by Dr. Maulana Karenga, African-American educator, following the Watts riots of 1966 with the intent of bringing the African American community together.Kwansaba, the birth of a poetry form The 7 principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Each day of the celebration focuses on one of the principles.
The Kwansaba is:
a celebration of family and African-American culture, a praise poem.
a septastich, a poem in 7 lines.
measured by 7 words in each line.
written with no word exceeding 7 letters.
The description above was pasted and copied from
with some slight editing.
Almost always tears trend down my face
after joyous smiles from ear to ear.
Seeing smiles erupt across the entire crowd
after pause of waiting wonder, knowing now
this gift is given- it’s for all.
Folks see shyness put aside for them,
to be caroled with season’s joyful songs.
© Lawrencealot – December 13, 2013